WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RULES FOR CHRISTIANS?
- Key Verse
- For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)
- READ THE CHAPTER
As Christians, we should live our lives based on our faith in God, not rules and laws. Before Christ died on the cross, people lived according to Old Testament laws and rules.
ReflectionsIn Galatians 3, God shares through the Apostle (Christian missionary) Paul one reason He gave rules and commandments in the Old Testament. Paul says rules were put in place to guide the people who wanted to live a right and proper life under God. Although the rules were strict, they helped people understand what they were and were not able to do. It was difficult for people to obey these rules set by God. During this time, when someone disobeyed a rule, he or she had to live with the guilt knowing he or she had dishonored God. "But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed." (Galatians 3:23)
Fortunately for us, Christ died on the cross, proving that He wants a relationship with us so that our Christian walk is not just about rules and laws. In this relationship, we can talk with God about our sin and ask for His forgiveness. "But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [Old Testament laws]. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (Galatians 3:25-27)
Although today as Christians we do not have the same laws of the Old Testament, there are still rules God has created for us. Why has He created rules for us? He gives us rules to protect us and provide a way to have peace with others. He gives us these rules because He loves us so much.
For many years I lived far away from God's rules. I knew His commandments, but I chose to live my life the way I wanted to live it. It took an understanding of the Bible and wise friends to teach me that God has put "current-day" guidelines in place to help me stay away from sin and temptations because He loves me. When I sin, I know that I can go to God to ask for forgiveness, and He'll graciously forgive me. It's not about obeying the rules for the rules' sake, but to respect and honor God.
Discussion Questions1. What is a rule that you think is fair? Unfair? Why?
2. Do you believe that we should obey laws that seem unfair?
3. What does God say about obeying laws from unfair bosses or unreasonable parents?
4. Is it ever okay to disobey one of God's commandments?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
Galatians 3 - Ephesians 1 (July 30 - Aug 3)
Read Galatians 5:16-26.
• Look at the list of what your life looks like if you follow the sinful desires (flesh) and then look at the list of a life controlled by the Holy Spirit.
• What are your responses to the two different lists?
• Which list shows more about God's love to others?
• What are ways that you can be more diligent to let the Holy Spirit be in control more than your flesh?
• Talk through each of the qualities of being controlled by the Spirit . . . what do the words mean and how do they play out in your life?
Activity: Go to the grocery store together. Each person should pick out nine fruits. When you get home, take each quality of a life controlled by the Holy Spirit and attach it to one of the fruits. Take one fruit with you for lunch each day. Before you eat the fruit, think back about how your morning has gone. Have you allowed the Spirit to be in control? Have you shown that fruit in your life to those around you? If so, praise God that He is working in your life and pray that you will continue to choose His way over your flesh. If not, pray now that you will have a better afternoon . . . of listening to and following the Spirit.